The Talmud doesn't believe in "equal time." According to this ancient repository of Jewish wisdom, if a good guy and a bad guy are running for office, you should give the good guy all the publicity and ignore the bad guy. Don't even mention his name.

The Talmud has a source for its bias — the even more ancient Book of Proverbs by King Solomon, which states, "The mention of the righteous should be for blessing, and the name of the wicked shall rot" (Proverbs 10:7). Quoting this verse, the Talmud rules that "it is forbidden to name one's child after a wicked person."

Which begs the question: Why, then, is this week's Torah reading (Numbers 16-18) named "Korach", after the man who led a mutiny against Moses and Aaron? If the Torah doesn't want us naming our kids Pharaoh, Joseph Vissarionovich or Captain Hook, why does it name one of its own sections after an unrepentant sinner, a person whose actions so endangered the very existence of the people of Israel that G‑d made the earth swallow him up so that he "descended alive into the abyss"?

"The road to hell," says the saying, "is paved with good intentions." Korach, the only man reported to have reached that unsavory place alive, was also propelled there by positive desires and motives. As the Torah tells it, Korach was motivated by a lofty spiritual yearning — the desire to become a Kohen Gadol ("High Priest"), which is the highest level in the service of G‑d a person can attain.

How do we know that this was a positive desire? Firstly, because our Sages tell us that in the future perfect world of Moshiach each and every one of us will attain the level of intimacy with G‑d which Korach desired. Secondly, because we know of another person who, like Korach, was forbidden by Divine decree to act as a Kohen Gadol and who nevertheless was driven by an insatiable desire to do so. That other person? Moses himself.

Here is Moses speaking to Korach: "We have but one G‑d, one Torah, one law, one Kohen Gadol and one Sanctuary. Yet you... desire the High Priesthood. I, too, desire it!" (Midrash Tanchuma; cited by Rashi on Numbers 16:10).

"I, too, desire it!" Is Moses being facetious? Playing devil's advocate? Or are we being accorded a glimpse into Moses' soul, a soul driven by an all-consuming desire for something so exalted and G‑dly that it is beyond the reach even of a Moses, a soul that finds its deepest yearnings frustrated by a divine command barring its path, commanding: "Stop. No. Not Yet."

Both Korach and Moses desired the forbidden. In Korach, the desire brought destruction upon himself and his followers. In Moses, the same desire fueled a life of greatness.

The road to hell is paved with holy desires. So is the the road to heaven. The difference is subtle, yet crucial: the difference between acting on a holy desire contrary to G‑d's command, and feeding the desire, wrestling with it, living a life passionately devoted to attaining it—yet refraining from any action that the object of the desire has forbidden.

This is why, the Rebbe explains, there is a section in Torah named Korach. The Torah is telling us that there are two Korachs: Korach the human being, and Korach the Torah portion. Or, if you will, the body of Korach and the spirit of Korach. Korach the human being, who crossed the line that separates good from evil, the line demarcated by G‑d's commands, is to be spurned. Korach the Torah portion — the holy yearning that storms the barricades which G‑d throws up to thwart our soul's rush to heaven, that strives and strains yet dares not cross in violation of the divine will — is to be embraced.